The Meat Board has been appointed to chair a working group compiled by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry to find a long-term solution to sheep marketing in Namibia and following numerous meeting, consensus was finally reached and the proposals were submitted to the ministry.
The proposals contain, among others, a recommendation to maintain the 1:1 local slaughter-to-export ratio, to engage in discussions with the Commissioner of Inland Revenue for the speedy processing of VAT claims by abattoir operators and the proposal to replace the current export levies on skins with an export scheme.
Earlier this month a workshop themed ‘Towards the implementation of Commodity Based Trade of beef in the KAZA TFCA’ was hosted by the KAZA organisation, during which opportunities for integration of livestock agriculture and wildlife conservation were discussed.
The workshop was attended by government officials of the five KAZA countries (Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Angola and Botswana), industry members, livestock disease experts and wildlife conservation experts.
From various presentations it was evident that the commodity based trade concept provides an opportunity and solution to the marketing of beef from areas where Foot and Mouth Disease is endemic. The high value of the wildlife and tourism sector necessitates the simultaneous need for conservation in these same areas.
The commodity based trade concept provides for a risk-based beef value chain, whereby each step in the value chain reduces the risk for a possible outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease caused by the introduction of chilled and frozen beef into areas free from the disease.
A quantitative risk assessment for beef produced in accordance with this concept shows that the risk is one in a million and can be considered negligible.
Commodity based trade in beef also offers an opportunity to improve the livelihood of communities based in the conservation areas. Issues, like the control of Foot and Mouth Disease outbreaks, will also have to be addressed if commodity based trade is to remain a feasible and sustainable option.
Meat Board office closed on November 25
The Meat Board’s head office will be closed on Friday to allow staff members to attend a special year-end function on the day. The office will thus be closed from 15h00 on Friday and will re-open for business as usual on Monday, November 27. To assist producers on Friday, the Meat Board will be open for business between 13h00 to 14h00.